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Tag: hairless

Look what showed up at the “night drop”

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Video stores and libraries aren’t the only places where you’ll find “night drops.”

Some animal shelters have them, too — areas where dogs and cats in need of homes can be dropped off after hours, anonymously, and under the cover of night.

A few weeks ago, a veterinary technician who was the first to arrive for work at the Animal Friends of the Valleys shelter in Riverside County, California, found two boxers — one pink, one brown, both nearly hairless.

Both of the dogs, who were abandoned without a note identifying their previous owner, had a skin condition called demodex mange.

asiaandartie“I felt so badly for Artie and Asia when I first saw them,” said Jennifer Glover, a vet tech for the shelter in Wildomar. “But I was encouraged by the fact that we would be able to start helping them.”
“They were very sweet when they arrived but they were depressed,” Glover added. “Within just one day of having someone care for them here, they were so much happier and more outgoing.”

The skin condition is a treatable one.

The dogs have been responding well to treatment and both have been sent on to Last Chance at Life Rescue to be put up for adoption, according to People.com.

Asia, the pink one is believed to be about 10 months old, and Artie about 2 years old.

On top of the skin condition, caused by mites, Asia has a heart murmur, and Artie has some eye issues, but they otherwise seem healthy and playful.

“I assure you they were both unsettled with being dumped but they know very quickly that the staff at Animal Friends of the Valleys and the volunteers at LCAL are their ‘friends,’ and there to help them,” said Lisa Hamilton, founder and president of Last Chance At Life. “They are with us until we find their perfect home.”

Hamilton says people have already inquired about adopting the pair, and that anyone interested should contact them through the organization’s website.

(Photos: Last Chance at Life Rescue)

Two new breeds recognized by AKC

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The American Kennel Club has announced full recognition of two new breeds — the American hairless terrier and the Sloughi.

The additions bring the total number of dog breeds recognized by the AKC to 189.

Joining the terrier group, the American hairless terrier is small to medium sized and very active — basically a bald (often) rat terrier.

The breed comes in both a hairless and a coated variety, although the coated dogs still carry the hairless gene.

According to the American Hairless Terrier Club, their rise began when a hairless puppy emerged in a litter of rat terriers in the 1970s, leading a Louisiana couple to begin breeding it to produce other hairless pups.

akcSloughiThe Sloughi is an ancient breed that originated in North Africa, where it is treasured for its hunting skills, speed, endurance and agility.

Also known as the Arabian greyhound, it is a medium to large-sized dog, with short hair, a smooth coat and a sleek and graceful appearance.

Both breeds became eligible to compete in their respective AKC groups on Jan. 1, 2016, but will not be eligible for Westminster until next year.

To become an AKC-recognized breed there must be a minimum number of dogs geographically distributed throughout the U.S., as well as an established breed club of responsible owners and breeders.

(Photos: An American hairless terrier (at top) and a Sloughi, courtesy of American Kennel Club)

The first and last flight of Snickers the cat

I feel bad for what happened to Snickers the cat. But to be brutally honest, I’m having a hard time working up much sympathy for her owner.

Snickers died last week, shortly after arrival at the Hartford airport aboard Delta Flight 738.

Airline officials had promised Heather Lombardi, who had purchased the cat from a breeder in Utah and was having her delivered, that the cargo hold the cat would travel in was climate controlled.

If you can’t guess what happened next, here’s some additional information:

Snickers was 11 weeks old.

Snickers was a Sphynx, or hairless cat.

It is winter, and a particularly cold one.

Once a plane lands, the cargo area is depressurized, and that climate control stuff doesn’t apply anymore.

Lombardi sent out an email blast to tell the world about “the worst tragedy I have ever personally experienced” — not to gain pity, or money, or, we’d hope, bolster her odds in a lawsuit. Instead, she says, she wanted to inform the world of the dangers of shipping a cat, by air, in winter.

With her two children, Lombardi arrived at the airport and was told to wait in the baggage area. Fifty minutes passed after the flight landed, the delay in unloading baggage being caused at least partly by a cargo hold latch that was stuck, she was told.

“I wasn’t incredibly alarmed … I figured she would be fine as long as she wasn’t outdoors,” wrote Lombardi, who paid $290 to transport Snickers. Outdoors, it was 7 degrees.

Upon being handed the crate, Lombardi opened it and pulled Snickers out:

“The kitten was ICE cold, limp, and unresponsive. I IMMEDIATELY put her into my coat, grabbed my kids by the hands & ran out of the airport to get her into my car & cranked up the heat putting all vents on her as I rubbed her trying to warm her up. She couldn’t lift or control any limbs, her breathing was labored, she had a blank stare in her eyes, and she let out a meow. As if to say help me — please. We rushed her to the emergency vet clinic, but to my utter devastation, on the drive, she let out a blood curdling cry & went completely limp …”

Ten minutes after handing the apparently lifeless cat to the vet, Lombardi was informed that Snickers was indeed dead.

“Her last hour of life was spent frozen & unable to escape. I am so utterly devastated — I cannot express to anyone how this feels. I am so sad for her, her little 11 week life lost for no reason. A tragedy that could have been prevented if the airline had valued her little promising life.”

Delta told her it is investigating, but, she said, “the bottom line is that they can’t bring her back to me or my family, there is nothing they can say or do to make this whole. We don’t want a new kitten; we fell in love with HER. She was our new child & there is nothing that can be done to bring her home to us. Snickers lost her life unnecessarily …  Value life everyone, I have just experienced something I pray no one else has too. Don’t let Snickers lost life be in vain, I pray you guys read this & maybe another animals life won’t be lost to the cold & lonely Delta Cargo holds.”

Reading over her summary of events, what stuns me most is that a customer would even consider having an 11-week-old hairless cat transported by air in the dead of winter. That the breeder would permit it is surprising as well. That Delta signed off on it is equally shocking.

So, much as we regret Snickers’ passing, we, unlike Lombardi, wouldn’t aim our anger solely at Delta. There appear to be plenty of humans to share the blame, including the one who — though her subsequent warning not to ship animals when it’s below 30 degrees is valid — probably should have done a little more research and used a little more common sense before having her new hairless cat placed on a plane.

And we have to wonder a little bit, too — coldhearted as it may be at her time of clearly anguishing loss — why, any allergies aside, someone would opt for a pricey, high-maintenance novelty pet from the other side of the country when hundreds of cats are in the Hartford area’s animal shelters, waiting for homes.

Heather Lombardi responds: 

“… I first wanted to thank you for bringing attention to what happened to Snickers. Knowledge is power & even if you don’t agree with my actions & poor decision, not everyone knows or understands the risks of placing your pets in a climate controlled cargo hold. I myself was guilty of that. I do not place blame solely on Delta, my lack of knowledge & belief that travel was safe for animals in this weather was the obvious reason she was on the flight. It’s why I decided to share her story. She died due to my lack of knowledge & an obvious service failure on Delta’s behalf. I can’t control Delta, their practices or policies, what I can control is how I handle the situation. I choose to raise awareness, and I thank you for helping with that.”

Bat Boy found living as cat in New Hampshire!

A cat named Ugly is drawing stares at an Exeter, New Hampshire vet’s office, where clients say they can’t take their eyes off his striking appearance.

The cat — whose full name is Ugly Bat Boy — is bald some in places, has flowing fur in others, and he passes most of his time spread out on a warm computer.

The cat was part of a litter of four with a sister that looked just like him. That kitten died at only a few weeks old, but that was long enough for the veterinarian, a Dr. Bassett (appropriately enough), to become enamored with Bat Boy.

“The owner knew that I liked the way the sister looked, and I came in from lunch one day and this cat was sitting in a cage, and the owner said Dr. Bassett liked this cat, so that’s it,” Bassett said.

People come in and take pictures of him on their cell phones,” said veterinary employee Christie Hartnett. “The impression from clients that come in is he’s not real because he just sits so still, and when he does move, he scares them, but they think he’s mesmerizing,” Hartnett said.

The office staff was getting so many questions about the cat that they put up a couple of fliers saying he’s about 8 years old and perfectly normal in every way — just ugly.

Ugly Bat Boy, I presume is named after the creature created, er … discovered by the Weekly World News — that Florida publication that was doing fake news long before it was cool, keeping us apprised of the latest sightings of Elvis, aliens, Bigfoot and more. I had the pleasure of visiting and doing a story about about its wacky staff before it went out of business, a reprint of which is still online.

It’s good to see Bat Boy’s name living on in a hideous cat. (Actually, I can see the cat’s inner beauty, just as I saw the seriously misunderstood Bat Boy’s.)

As for Bat Boy, the cat, he has the run of the vet’s office in New Hampshire, and all the attention he can handle, according to a TV news report. “He likes it here,” Bassett said. “He’s comfortable. He likes the people petting him.”

Of course, anything this “ugly” deserves a video. So here it is.

In memory of Gus, “World’s Ugliest Dog”

Gus, the irrepressible, one-eyed, three-legged, nine-year-old Chinese crested who was named the World’s Ugliest Dog at the 20th Annual Sonoma-Marin Fair in northern California, has died of skin cancer.

Gus, from St. Petersburg, Florida, was rescued by his owners, Jeanenne Teed and her daughter Janey, after they learned that it was being kept in a crate in someone’s garage.

When her pet won the contest in June, Teed said the prize money would be put toward the dog’s radiation treatment. Gus, who lost an eye in a fight with a cat, was also missing a leg that was amputated because of a skin tumor.

When Gus accompanied Janey to school one day, frightened teachers corralled him into a bathroom with a broomstick. He had a long, skinny rat tail, and looked as if he had been in a fire.

“He was the most hideous thing I had ever seen,” Jeanenne told the St. Petersburg Times, which ran an excellent story yesterday on the demise of Gus.

Recently, the cancer that took his leg returned, appearing in his spine and pressing into his abdomen. By September, he was too weak to walk. Jeaneanne, a certified public accountant, used his prize money, and her mortgage payment for October, to pay the $5,000 bill for chemotherapy.

Gus was buried in a tiny grave in the family’s backyard. Next to it, Jeaneanne planted a Butterfly bush with golden flowers.

“Something beautiful,” she said, “to grow out of all that ugly.”

Xoloitzcuintle: What’s in a name?

     Correct me if I’m wrong, and I probably am, but as best as I can determine this sometimes hairy, sometimes hairless Mexican breed is pronounced “show-low-its-queen-tli,” or, for short, “show-low.”                                         
     The Xolo comes in three sizes, Toy, Miniature, Standard, and two varieties, with the hairless being the more popular. It can be black, gray, bronze, brindle, or red, and solid or spotted.
     Other than the hairlessness, its most noticeable characteristic is its large upright ears.

They give the dog a bat-like appearance, and add to its super keen sense of hearing, meaning if you mispronounce Xoloitzcuintle, he’ll probably hear you.

Xoloitzcuintle, sometimes alternately spelled as Xoloitzcuintli, is one of the world’s oldest breeds going back over 3,000 years. Artifacts depicting the ancient breed have been found in the tombs of Colima, Mayan and Aztec Indians.

Xolos were highly prized for their loyalty, intelligence, curative and mystical powers and their body heat was used to relieve aching joints and stomach pain.

According to Aztec mythology, the god Xoloti created the Xoloitzcuintle from a sliver of the “Bone of Life” from which mankind was made. Xoloti gave the dog to humanity as a gift with strict instructions — guard it with his life, and, in return, the dog would guide man through the world of death towards the evening star (no, it’s not a newspaper) in the heavens.

The breed almost went extinct in the 1940s (so much for Xoloti’s instructions), but was saved when a group of committed Mexicans began seeking them out in remote villages.

As its numbers dwindled, the Xolo was dropped as a recognized breed by the American Kennel Club in the 1950s, and still isn’t fully recognized by it. The breed is considered “foundation stock” by the AKC, meaning it could someday qualify again.

My advice to the AKC is to ask itself this question: What Would Xoloti Do?